Going by the outpouring of reaction on Ibrox Noise, Scott Arfield’s signature at MLS cracks Charlotte has been greeted by a combination of well-wishing and regret.
The 34-year-old ex-Rangers legend put pen to paper on a two-year deal in the USA’s premier football league, and let’s not kid on that he’s gone down a level at all.
The MLS is a far superior division to the Scottish Premiership aside Rangers and Celtic, and it only requires a quick glance at the player values in America’s best league to know the numbers are about double what they are in Scotland’s equivalent.
So Scotty, while obviously going to a ‘smaller’ team (sort of, we’ll get to that) is taking a step up in terms of competition and going to a league comparable with England’s upper Championship to very lowest Premier League.
As for the ‘smaller team’? Their stadium regularly gets attendances of 75,000+ in football. Yes, our football. ‘Soccer’, as they’d call it. So even though Ibrox is iconic and has the history, as well as a gigantic global support for the club, its (and Parkhead’s) attendances are dwarfed by the crowds at the Bank of America Stadium.
So Scotty will not be playing in front of lowly 5,000 crowds by any means.
In short, our loss is Charlotte’s gain, and Scotty, while he’d love to still be at Ibrox, is starting a new life in the USA and he’s going to enjoy it.
As for our fans? The reaction is mixed – most fans are regretful of his exit, saddened by it, and feeling like the ex-Canada international should still be a Rangers player. A small minority feel his Rangers time was done and he wasn’t good enough.
Either way, we’ll find out if he was still good enough if he can cope with the higher level of the MLS and its generally superior quality players. Outside of the Old Firm, Conrad Jaden Egan-Riley is the highest-valued SPL player, at around £2.5M. All the other highest-value players outwith the Glasgow pair have all been snapped up by English or Italian clubs leaving only the dregs behind.
Indeed, the sales from the SPL have seriously weakened the quality of the league, while the MLS is infinitely larger and has a much bigger and higher quality pool of talent.
Sadly, that now includes Scotty.